How To Help A Friend Who Is Struggling With Addiction?

Watching a friend struggle with addiction can be an extremely difficult and emotional experience. As someone who cares about them, you want to help and support them but may not know where to begin or how to approach the situation. In this article, we will guide how to help a friend who is struggling with addiction.

  1. Educate Yourself

The first step in helping a friend who is struggling with addiction is to educate yourself about addiction. Learn about the signs and symptoms of addiction, the different types of treatment available, and how addiction affects the brain and behavior. This knowledge will help you understand what your friend is going through and how best to help them.

  • Have An Open And Honest Conversation

Approach your friend in a calm and non-judgmental manner. Let them know that you are there for them and that you want to help. Be honest about your concerns and observations, and ask them how they are feeling. Remember to listen without interrupting or criticizing.

  • Offer Your Support

Let your friend know that you are there for them, no matter what. Offer to accompany them to support group meetings, therapy sessions, or doctor’s appointments. Offer to help them find a treatment program, if they are ready for that step.

  • Set Boundaries

It is important to set boundaries for yourself and your relationship with your friend. This can mean limiting contact if their behavior becomes harmful or unhealthy for you, or setting boundaries around enabling behaviors such as lending money or making excuses for their behavior.

  • Avoid Enabling Behaviors

Enabling behaviors are actions that unintentionally enable the addictive behavior to continue. Examples include lending money, covering up for them, or making excuses for their behavior. While these behaviors may feel like you are helping, they can prolong and prevent your friend from seeking treatment.

  • Encourage Treatment

If your friend is ready for treatment, encourage and support them in their journey. Help them research treatment options, accompany them to appointments, and offer to be a part of their support system during recovery. Rockland Recovery’s Weymouth rehabilitation center offers evidence-based treatment programs and compassionate care to help individuals overcome addiction and achieve lasting recovery.

  • Take Care Of Yourself

Supporting a friend who is struggling with addiction can be emotionally and physically exhausting. It is important to prioritize self-care and seek support for yourself as well. This can mean talking to a therapist, joining a support group, or simply taking time to engage in activities that bring you joy.


Helping a friend who is struggling with addiction can be a challenging and emotional process, but it is important to remember that your support can make a significant difference in their recovery. By educating yourself, having open and honest conversations, offering your support, setting boundaries, avoiding enabling behaviors, encouraging treatment, and taking care of yourself, you can be a valuable resource and support system for your friend during their journey towards recovery.